Monday, May 4, 2009

Cryptical Envelopment - Grateful Dead Song Review

"Cryptical" is a cool song that I think someone told me was completely written by Garcia (words and lyrics) - interestingly the very last song reviewed (Cream Puff War) is the only other GD song that I know of that falls into this category. Here is the memorable opening line:

The other day they waited, the sky was dark and faded,
Solemnly they stated, "He has to die, you know he has to die."

Cryptical Envelopment is probably thought by most people to be part of The Other One - and it most definitely is, but of all the various parts of The Other One that were listed on the original track listing for Anthem of the Sun, Cryptical Envelopment is the only one I consider to really stand on it's own (as opposed to sections like Quadliblet for Tender Feet which were merely named as separate tracks as part of a ploy to increase royalties).

Cryptical has a circular feel to it and otherworldly lyrics. It is a really cool song fragment and I think it could have been a song that stood on its own although it does provide a great intro to The Other One. The song was played well over a hundred tunes between 1967 and 1972 and then dropped from the repertoire until it made a reappearance in 1985 for several shows.

Also don't forget that when they finish the other one it returns to the Cryptical theme:

And when the day had ended, with rainbow colors blended,
Their minds remained unbended,
He had to die, oh, you know he had to die.

Then Jerry goes off and wails: "You know he had to dieeeeeeeee....." This is one of the earliest examples of him taking a phrase and repeating it several times with more and more emphasis, so I always enjoy hearing it.

Envelopment Song Rating on a Scale of 1-10: 7.5

Disclaimer: This is part of my review of every Grateful Dead song from A-Z. Music is a beautiful thing because it is so personal and subjective, so keep in mind that this is one man's opinion (and be sure to read my blog manifesto to understand a little more about where I'm coming from).

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